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You Inspire Me!

Posted by Mia Toose on

You-Inspire-Me-Truli-Wetsuits

Inspiration is more than just a fuzzy feeling inside.  Scientific studies have proven that,

"inspired people reported higher levels of important psychological resources, including belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism." (Kaufman 2011)

After being totally inspired by the response Truli Wetsuits has gotten since I started the business in 2015, I've been motivated to create a wetsuit that continues to represent the core of what Truli is:

Wetsuits that are True to the Women who wear them!

Once I decided to create even more sizes to reflect the great and amazing diversity of female bodies, I knew that changing the size names to something we could be proud of would be the icing on the cake creating a totally positive wetsuit experience.

I made a request to Truli fans to submit the names of women who have inspired them.  Women who have left a legacy, made a positive impact, paved the way for other women, is courageous, cool, bold...you get the picture.  In total, I received over 40 submissions!  After researching the work of these women, I made a list of words that encompassed these women and their work and then randomly applied them to the 21 sizes.  The size names are located on the inside front left chest, close to the wearer's heart as a token of inspiration to remind her that greatness is possible. 

Below are the submissions that were sent in to me along with the personal stories of why these women are so inspiring.  Read through the size names and see if you can figure out which word belongs to which inspiring woman…soon you will see that these words belong not only to these incredible woman that we look up to, but also to the women we are and those who are in our lives. 

If you know of someone who has inspired you, feel free to add it to the list in the comments below -

NOTE:  The individuals who nominated the inspirational women have been kept anonymous and the content below has not been edited or verified.

"My choices for women of inspiration have one thing in common – exceeding in male-dominated fields." - Truli Fan

Margaret Mead

Is one of my heroes as I studied anthropology for my masters degree I learned about a lot of the work she did at a time when women were told their role was in a kitchen or raising children, not traveling the world and learning about new cultures.

Margaret Mead was the world's most famous and one of the most controversial anthropologists during her lifetime. Anthropology - the study of human cultures - was a new science when Margaret Mead first began field work among Polynesian cultures, and her conclusions often challenged traditional ways of thinking and showed that Western culture had much to learn from 'primitive' cultures. Her work studying natives in Samoa convinced her that adolescence need not be a time of stress, conflict and confusion - it was cultural attitudes that made it so in the West. Her work studying primitive societies in Papua New Guinea helped fuel the women's liberation movement. Margaret Mead discovered that in some societies women are dominant, and observations of other 'role reversals' and discoveries of non-aggressive cultures led her to conclude that culture plays a large part in determining gender roles.

Margaret Mead founded the Institute for Intercultural Studies and promoted the idea that the great diversity of human cultures proved that we can choose a better future for our world. She believed that warfare, racism and environmental exploitation were all learned patterns reinforced by our current culture, and that by helping to create new institutions and cultural values we could change the world. When Margaret Mead learned about John McConnell's idea to create Earth Day on the Spring Equinox in 1970, she became convinced that this was the perfect idea to transcend cultural boundaries and unite humanity around the shared goal of creating a more peaceful, just and sustainable world, and served as the International Chair of Earth Day."

From https://www.doonething.org/heroes/pages-m/mead-bio.htm

Margaret Mead

 Photo: Keystone France

Rachel Carson

One of the first books you read when you decide you want to learn more about environmental science is Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. It is a moving piece of nonfiction that brought to light the harm of pesticides and created change.

"In her books on the sea Carson wrote about geologic discoveries from submarine technology and underwater research -- of how islands were formed, how currents change and merge, how temperature affects sea life, and how erosion impacts not just shore lines but salinity, fish populations, and tiny micro-organisms. Even in the 1950's, Carson’s ecological vision of the oceans shows her embrace of a larger environmental ethic which could lead to the sustainability of nature’s interactive and interdependent systems. Climate change, rising sea-levels, melting Arctic glaciers, collapsing bird and animal populations, crumbling geological faults -- all are part of Carson’s work. But how, she wondered, would the educated public be kept informed of these challenges to life itself? What was the public's "right to know"?"

From - http://www.rachelcarson.org/

Rachel Carson

Photo Credit

Cindy Van Dover

One of the leading female deep sea biologists!

Discovered a novel species of squat lobster that dwells within the hydrothermal vents of the East Pacific Rise tectonic plate boundary.

Became the first woman (and the first PhD scientist) to be a certified pilot of Alvin, a deep-sea research submersible.

Discovered infrared-sensing “eyes” in an “eyeless” shrimp species.

Organized a large, multidisciplinary expedition to newly discovered deep-sea vents in the Indian Ocean, where the team collected a new kind of snail with scales on its foot

Served as the first female director of Duke University’s Marine Laboratory

From: https://www.the-scientist.com/profile/deep-diver--a-profile-of-cindy-van-dover-64355

Cindy Van Dover 

Photo Credit

Eugenie Clark (May 4, 1922-Feb 25, 2015)

Few women, let alone those of Japanese American descent, were working in the male-dominated field of marine biology shortly after World War II. Dr. Eugenie Clark changed all that. A scientific pioneer who greatly contributed to people’s knowledge of sharks and other fish, Clark worked to improve sharks’ reputation in the public eye.  Perhaps more importantly, she challenged the stereotypes surrounding women in science by proving that women had much to contribute to the scientific community.

 Eugenie Clark

Photo:  David Doubilet

Madison Stewart

"Shark Girl Madison" represents what we love to see in our youth! She is on a mission to stop the decimation of sharks and being a badass at it. After her award winning film "Shark Girl" she hasn't slowed down and is now in Indonesia working towards converting fishing boats into tourist boats.

Madison Stewart 

Photo Credit

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933 -

Because I just watched RBG and it is amazing what she has accomplished in her life in the pursuit of equality. I think she would have been a great scuba diver.

At the age of 85 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  This is another senior woman of inspiration. During her initial enrolment at Harvard Law School she was one of nine women in a class with 500 men and reportedly asked by the dean how she could justify taking a spot away from a man. Later she transferred to Columbia Law School. Despite tying for graduating in first place she experienced rejection early in her career for a law clerk position with a supreme court justice due to her gender and could not find employment with a single law firm in New York City. In 1970 she co-founded the first legal journal to focus exclusively on women’s rights, Women’s Rights Law Reporter. She has served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1993. Her legal opinions have mostly been dissents which has earned her the moniker of Notorious RBG and a high profile in pop culture. Her widespread influence on gender equality, longevity and her badass appeal inspire me. As I write this I am looking forward to watching the CNN documentary RBG airing later tonight.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Esi L. (pronounced A.C.)

Esi is someone I look up to and that always challenges me to be a better person. We were students together in the Marine Lab during the Spring of 2008 and she has been as much of a mentor as a friend ever since. As one of the only African American women I know that is fighting to create change in our world - she most certainly fits the traits you asked for in naming someone that is a woman making a legacy, has made a positive impact, paved the way for other women (specifically minorities,) is courageous, cool and bold!

To all the non-famous women that have helped others along the way--this is the Esi!

Malala Yousafzai (July 12, 1997-

As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

From:  https://www.biography.com/people/malala-yousafzai-21362253

Malala Yousafzai

Photo Credit

Mirabel sisters

Patria Mercedes Mirabal Reyes (Feb 27 1924 - Nov 25 1960

Beligica Adela Mirabal Reyes - Dede (Mar1, 1925-Feb 1, 2014)

Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal Reyes - Minerva (Mar12, 1926-Nov25, 1960)

Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal Reyes-Maria Teresa (Oct15, 1935-Nov 25, 1960);

I remember reading about these sisters in Spanish class in middle school and it has always stuck with me to be strong, rely on your sisters, and you can persist in the world.

Mirabal sisters (Spanish pronunciation: [eɾˈmanas miɾaˈβal], Las Hermanas Mirabal) were four sisters in the Dominican Republic, known commonly as Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Dedé, who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo (El Jefe) and were involved in clandestine activities against his regime.[1] Three of the four sisters (Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa) were assassinated on 25 November 1960. The last sister, Dedé, died of natural causes on 1 February 2014.

The assassinations turned the Mirabal sisters into "symbols of both popular and feminist resistance".[2]

In 1999, in the sisters' honor, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.[3]

Mirabel Sisters

Photo Credit

Sandra Cisneros (Dec 20, 1954-

Middle school was apparently a telling year for me to be introduced to different cultures! We read the book House on Mango Street for an English class and it was a moving narrative on a quest for a better life. Her ability to story tell across generations and genders helped bring light to the experiences of so many Mexican-Americans.

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, whose work explores the lives of the working-class.  Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship.

Her classic, coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over six million copies, been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation. 

In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two non-profits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. She is also the organizer of Los MacArturos, Latino MacArthur fellows who are community activists. Her literary papers are preserved in Texas at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.

https://www.sandracisneros.com/

Sandra Cisneros

Photo Credit

Ama

Not one person, but a culture of pearl divers that should be an inspiration to all of us female divers!

One of the lesser-known but fascinating parts of Japanese culture is that of the Ama pearl divers. Ama (海女 in Japanese), literally means ‘woman of the sea’ and is recorded as early as 750 in the oldest Japanese anthology of poetry, the Man’yoshu. These women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth. Utilising special techniques to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes at a time, they would work for up to 4 hours a day in order to gather abalone, seaweed and other shellfish.--

From:  http://gakuran.com/ama-the-pearl-diving-mermaids-of-japan/

This is not a single person but an entire group of women whose numbers are aging and dwindling. For 2000 years in Japan the Ama have dived for pearls, sea urchins, abalone and other shellfish. Advances in pearl cultivation and farming techniques have made their occupation largely obsolete. Few young women join their rank. Interestingly, these are not women who have made inroads in a male dominated field since men do not perform this job, probably due to women’s higher body fat which allows better tolerance of cold water. The Ama are the original professional freedivers! I’m fairly certain I first learned about their existence from a National Geographic article I read as a child. The Haenyeo are a similar group of female freedivers in Korea whose population has also plummeted in the last 40 years.

 Ama divers of Japan

Photo Credit

Estrella Navarro

Knows the essential role that self-belief plays in the quest for success. It’s what enabled her to dive 226 feet without an oxygen tank, smashing records in the process.

People sometimes say that a baby’s first experiences define the rest of its life. Take Estrella Navarro. Her swimming-coach father Carlos Navarro got her into the water before she could walk, setting her on the path that would result in Mexican freediving records and a championship crown. Like a real-life Aquaman (if Aquaman was a Latin beauty with come-hither eyes), the marine biologist from La Paz can hold her breath for several minutes while regularly diving to depths of more than 164 feet, thanks to breathing techniques developed over years of practice.

From:  https://www.redbull.com/us-en/theredbulletin/meet-freediving-champion-estrella-navarro

 Estrella Navarro

Photo Credit

Junko Tabei (Sep 22, 1939 - Oct 20, 2016)

Wikipedia- Junko Tabei was a Japanese mountaineer. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and the first woman to ascend all Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent.

 Junko Tabei

Photo Credit

Jeanne Baret (July 27, 1740-Aug 5, 1807)

A French sailor and botanist in the 1700s, Jeanne Baré was the first woman to circumnavigate the world. However, she did it disguised as a man, a ruse that kept her close to her love, Philibert de Commerson. The two met over a shared passion for botany. First she was the teacher to the widowed man's children, then his assistant, and later lover.

When Commerson scored a commission from the French government to sail the world and conduct research, the couple conspired to hide Baré's gender by dressing her as a man, "Jean." It worked for more than a year, but when the crew hit the South Pacific, some islanders uncovered the truth, though particulars on how vary. When Baré returned to France, the Navy paid tribute to "this extraordinary woman" and her work of gathering new species of plants by giving her a pension of 200 livres a year.

From:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/59922/15-female-explorers-you-should-know

Jeanne Baret 

Photo Credit

Amy Schumer (June 1, 1981 -

Amy Schumer is an inspiration for women across the globe for a few reasons. She is blunt and honest with her opinion, she is confident, and uses her talent as an actress and comedian to lift us up. Some may say she is "trashy" but I think she is making a great example for young women such as myself to be confident with our bodies and proud of our flaws. Amy has also used her resources to do some charity work and is always actively doing something to support and inspire women!

 Amy Schumer

Photo:  Instyle Magazine

Lady Diana (July 1, 1961 - August 31, 1997)

Lady Dianna left her footstep in history with her extensive charity work and being actively involved with her communities despite being royal. Her humble and selfless personality is something we should all look up to.

For Princess Diana who paved the path and unintentionally changed Royal norms for the wonderful women who married her sons, but also for her philanthropic work and ability to stay true to herself despite living in such a  publicly scrutinized environment.

 Princess Diana

Photo:  Sasa Kralj, Associated Press

Amelia Earhart (July 24, 1897 - July 2, 1937)

She was the first female pilot in the USA to fly the Atlantic ocean. A huge milestone in women's history! Her accomplishment is nothing but inspiring and reminds us that we can do anything! I can only hope that some day I can do something as bad ass as that. And considering that scuba diving is an extreme sport I think she definitely fits in to our group 😉

Queen of the air, she taught people to do everything in their power to achieve their dreams, she was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, no one knows what happened to her which just adds to the mystery and intrigue.

Amelia Earhart who was a pioneer for women in flight, becoming the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  She was an author, educator, equal rights promoter, and unabashedly a tomboy.

 Amelia Earhart

Photo:  Smithsonian

Mati (Short for Matilde)

My mum (also me) and number one fan of my many times under rated job, strong and passionate just like me. She is short, with small boobies and big tushie like many women out there that cant find a suit that fits perfect

Dottie Frazier (July 16, 1921 -

DOTTIE (for Dottie Frazier) first woman dive instructor and also a wetsuit producer.

 Dottie Frazier

Photo Credit

Sylvia Earle (August 30, 1935 -

EARLE (for Dr Sylvia Earle) an inspiration. As chief scientist for NOAA, conservationist with countless hours underwater, theres no words I can use to describe her task, just trully amazing.

She must surely be a popular suggestion but I had to pick someone who shares my first name. She is a living legend and still active at the age of 82. Starting with her groundbreaking research into aquatic plant life for her PhD dissertation, Sylvia Earle has gone on to develop undersea vehicles including Deep Rover, produce numerous publications, set a record for deepest untethered dive at 1250 feet on the ocean floor in 1979, held the distinctive title as Chief Scientist at NOOA, and more recently with the founding of Mission Blue she has moved into an activism role to explore and protect the oceans. She may have been deterred in graduate school when she was denied the position of a teaching assistanceship despite being the most qualified candidate and was bluntly told the position needed to go to a man who wouldn’t waste his education on having a family. Her personal history is recounted in the film Mission Blue on Netflix.

Marine Biologist, Ocean explorer, public speaker, and woman who has succeeded in a world when women were not recognized for their achievements. She is an inspiration to any female in the dive community. 

Such an inspirational woman to so many of us in the marine field and her lifelong dedication to help stop the destruction of our ocean is incredible. She continues to develop new ideas and spread awareness to the plight of the ocean and what individuals can do to help save it. I was fortunate to dive with her and she is so knowledgeable, kind and humble. We need more people like Sylvia to help save the ocean and its marine life before its too late.

A pioneer of the diving world, she led a team of divers and an engineer (all women) to Tektite II , an underwater laboratory, and she has set human depth records in submarines and atmospheric diving suits. The latter part of her career focused on marine conservation.

Sylvia Earle 

Photo Credit:  Time Magazine

Bethany Hamilton (Feb 8, 1990 -

Most surfers' worst nightmare would be of being attacked by a shark.  For Bethany Hamilton she not only survived such an attack, but thrived from it.  When she was only 13 years old her left arm was bitten off whilst she was out surfing with her family in Hawaii.  After almost dying from blood loss, she recovered, got back on her surfboard, and taught herself how to surf with just one arm.  Incredibly, she started to win contests, became one of the best surfers in the USA, and even competed in the ASP's world championship tour.

Bethany Hamilton, who survived a shark attack while surfing and lost her left arm from the attack.  Through determination Bethany has gone on to compete in surfing and is an incredible role model for body and attitude positivity.  She has never tried to hide or alter her amputated limb.  She has fallen in love, gotten married and has had children all the while still surfing with one arm.  She makes me speechless.

Bethany Hamilton

Photo Credit

Irene Marcoux

She is a fierce, woman, plus-size scuba diver who is incredibly inspiring and totally paving the way for plus-size women in scuba. Through travel, education, and showcasing multiple employment opportunities in diving. I always thought that while I could find ways to dive, I would still be limited to OW/AOW. But seeing her do rescue, DM, instructor, etc- makes me realize that my size does not need to define me or stop me!!!!

(The following is written based on info she has previously shared with me & in scuba groups)

She was certified in 1997 in Quebec, Canada through a college level physical education class. The open water certification dives were in a cold dark lake, and later continued diving education with Advanced Open Water in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, followed by a Rescue course as well as other various specialties in Geneva, Switzerland.  She eventually earned Master Scuba Diver rating, promptly followed by Divemaster and then Instructor rating!!  She has dove all over Australia, Switzerland, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, the Black Sea & then lived in Koh Tao, Thailand where she obtained Master Scuba Diver Trainer and IDC Staff Instructor qualifications.

Now she is back in her home is Montreal, Canada for the last few years and has now achived Master Instructor and now Course Director!! She is the first woman Course Director in Quebec. And just recently she has started freediving & on her way to advanced freediving certification. Incredible. And all this while being a plus sized woman scuba diver!

Irene Marcoux

Photo Credit

Valerie Taylor (Nov 9, 1935 -

This is one name I clearly remember from my childhood. In the 1970s I recall watching a documentary starring an Australian couple Valerie and Ron Taylor. They were filming sharks and Valerie was bitten by a shark on her leg through her wetsuit. It was not a life threatening injury and Valerie seemed to be more upset about not getting her photographic shot than any malicious intent on the part of the shark! Little did I realize the extent of their involvement back then with underwater photography both in educational films and Hollywood productions, and shark conservation advocacy. Years later I have tried to find that footage on YouTube but have only found references to the incident. As a child I was awed, scared and inspired by her fearlessness and perseverance in wanting to get back in the water to finish her job.

I remember watching documentaries that she did with her husband Rod when I was younger and she just wow'd me. This women with had incredible knowledge and experience with sharks and the whole marine environment. She is a total (excuse the language) bad-ass for all the right reasons; protecting sharks, being one of the few women in a very male dominated industry from the 50s right through to even now. Demonstrating that women are just as able to do such things, such as putting on and testing the first chain mail suit, helping with the shark sequences in Jaws, filming great whites without the protection of a cage or anything else, first to film sharks at night.  Not only is she pioneering underwater photographer, she's an advocate for the marine environment even now in her 80s and still dives.  I wanted to be just like her. Most likely the starting of my want to be a marine biologist (which I am now). 

Valerie Taylor

Photo Credit

Jill Heinerth (1965 -

She is a fellow Canadian and a true adventurer with the confidence to explore the dangerous environment of underwater caves. She was the first person to explore the ice caves of Antarctica and involved in the first 3D mapping of an underwater cave. The Royal Canadian Geographic Society has made her its explorer-in-residence. These are things I could never contemplate doing myself. Her sense of adventure and perseverance in a male dominated field inspire me. Since she is of the modern age I enjoy following her posts on Facebook and Instagram. I’m just sad that I am too far away to be able to attend her presentation at the Ontario Underwater Council at the end of September.

Nat geo photographer and explorer of all things nature especially underwater. 

Jill Heinerth

Photo Credit:  Canadian Geographic

Becky Kagan Schott

Why? As an accomplished Emmy award winning underwater photographer, videographer and technical diver who has gone into caves, under ice and into shipwrecks, American Becky Kagan Schott has ventured into rare territory for women in diving. Even the Explorers Club has made her a Fellow. Beautiful underwater photography inspires me due to its combination of artistic photographic skill and technical diving skill plus it often shows me places I wouldn’t normally be able to visit on my own. This is another person whose photos and adventures I can follow on Instagram!

Another inspirational underwater photographer, explorer and world traveller. Loves cold water, specifically the wrecks in the Great Lakes!

Becky Kagan Schott

Photo Credit

Jane Goodall (April 3, 1934 -

Similar to another living legend of her generation Jane Goodall, both women were involved in leading edge research, earned PhDs, persevered through gender discrimination in their respective fields, have had long careers which have segued into activism for environmental protection.

She got her early start by researching chimpanzees in the field in Tanzania I 1960 without a formal scientific background. Amongst her observations were the fact that these animals had complex social structures, individual personalities and were capable of learning how to use tools. Although revolutionary, these ideas were not well received when she arrived at Cambridge University and eventually earned her PhD in ethology. This was a rare feat for someone without a previous undergraduate degree. She has an extensive list of publications and awards to her name. At the age of 84 she currently heads up the Jane Goodall institute to support research and habitat protection of chimpanzees.  Although Jane Goodall is not involved in diving or ocean exploration I feel she is an inspiration to young people through her global Roots and Shoots leadership program that helps youth identify and address problems in their local community. I was lucky enough to see her in person in Edmonton during her 2015 Canadian tour. Another impressive fact was her punishing travel schedule and boundless energy as she stayed after the presentation to sign her books.

Jane Goodall

Photo:  Baron Hugo Van Lawick, National Geographic

Rebel Wilson (March 2, 1980 -

She has shown the world that there is more to someone than their size. Playing the lovable characters and coming across as down to earth through social media platforms. She inspires me with her love of life and nothing gets in her way.

Rebel Wilson

Photo Credit

Jane Whyte (1844 - Aug 3, 1918)

She may not be as famous as the two above, however back in 1884 she saved 15 men from drowning in stormy conditions. After the anchor cable snapping of the steamer near New Aberdour beach in Aberdeenshire, Jane Whyte was walking her dog, she seen the boat and desperate crew. Waded out and caught a rope thrown by the crew, wrapped it around her waist, planted her feet in the gravel beach, then one by one the crew used the rope to clamber to safety of the shore. After this she gave them shelter in her home as they recovered.   As we are very aware of, not all heroes wear capes. I only heard of this story earlier this month. I have a great amount of respect and awe of those who save lives, and who save them at sea. Her act of heroism gives me hope that when it really comes down to it, you can do anything. 

Jane Whyte

Photo Credit

Tiana M.

She is my colleague at the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional services. She is a sergeant just like me. Also like me she has dealt with a lot of challenges in the workplace but she has been a source of inspiration and leadership to myself and other fellow Managers in the MCSCS. I think she would embody the essence of Truli wetsuits as she is a strong and independent woman. Very health and fitness minded and a great person.

Valentina Tereshkova (March 6, 1937 -

She was the first woman in Space! Is that not awesome enough? But also her father was killed in WWII, she left school at 16 to work in a textile factory but continued her education through correspondence courses, she never let anything stop her. Her first flight almost ended in tragedy when problems with the auto-pilot but she managed to take control and land the ship with no major injuries and even after that went to dinner with the villagers where she essentially crash landed. She's badass!

Valentina Tereshkova

Photo Credit:  NASA

Bettie Page (April 22, 1923 - Dec 11, 2008)

Known for her pin-ups, she celebrated and embraced her femininity and sexuality (kind of like what Truli wetsuits make it possible for us to do)

Bettie Page

Photo Credit

Cleopatra (69BC - Aug 12, 30BC)

Queen of Egypt, who was an extraordinary woman.  She spoke multiple languages, was the dominant ruler of Egypt for three decades and had a romantic liaison and child with Julius Caesar and was married to and had children with Marc Anthony.  She was beautiful, seductive, but most of all well educated and smart, ruling in a male dominated era.

Cleopatra

Photo Credit

Rihanna (February 20, 1988 - 

Rihanna and her brave and very public stand against domestic abuse. 

Rihanna

Photo Credit:  Vanity Fair

Ellen Degeneres (Jan 26, 1958 - )

Ellen and her amazingly upbeat daytime talk show which brings joy to so many deserving individuals through her generous gifts and donations.  In a time where viewpoints are drastic on gay relationships, she stands her ground and does not for one minute hide who she is, who she loves, or how she will behave.

Ellen DeGeneres

Photo Credit

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 - Aug 5, 1962)

Marilyn who suffered so deeply with mental health issues during a time when it was hard to admit such things.  She understood her beauty was appealing to others, but to her it did not matter...underneath it all she was a tender human with low esteem and depression.  Her legacy and beauty astound us to this day despite her short career and life.  What could she have accomplished and what can we learn from her trials??

Marilyn Monroe

Photo Credit

Marilyn Bell (Oct 19, 1937 -

She was a Canadian swimmer.

She was the first woman to swim across Lake

Ontario as well as the English Channel.

She also swam the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

Marilyn Bell

Photo Credit

Mom or Mother

Everyone’s Mom inspires them to be the best they can be. 

Norma

Swam with Marilyn Bell at the Lakeshore Swimming club many years ago. She was one of the first five female lifeguards hired by the City of Toronto.  Back then open water Nationals were held in the frigid waters on Lake Ontario at the CNE. They didn’t have the luxury of wet suits or goggles. Just the other day Mom told me how cold the water was.  She came in 6th and earned a beautiful trophy. She is still swimming at age 87.  We have three generations of lifeguards in our family and three of us are divers.  Being in water is an important part of our lives. 

Mary Forseth

This is after my first real dive buddy.  She has lived her 66 years as a woman that knows no limits and refuses to be defined by boundaries or expectations.  She was a pioneer in legislative policy analysis working as a liaison between several agencies and legislatures in a male dominated field without formal college training.  She hiked to Mount Everest’s base camp, biked across Vietnam multiple times and has been diving around the world for decades.....all solo.  Her sense of adventure is awe inspiring and refusal to be defined by expectations makes her a perfect candidate for your new line that also refuses to be defined by shape, size or definition.


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